Dora Wheeler ( 1856–1940) cover illustration for The Prize Painting Book: Good Times (1881). Good Times contained verses written by her mother Candace. It was “published with the intention of providing
the most attractive material for the fascinating work of painting in water colors, and with the certainty of furnishing amusement and instruction combined, to children and beginners in drawing and color-work.” The publisher, White and Stokes also offered three prizes for the best three colored books returned to them “colored in the best manner.” White & Stokes were influenced in the creation of Good Times by the English illustrator Walter Crane. Dora Wheeler thought his designs, which extended from book illustration to mural painting and stained glass embodied the kind of universal quality American designers should strive for. If this cover was made today what would an illustrator substitute for the roller-skates, what looks like either an umbrella or fishing pole and a lacrosse stick? An iPad, a smart phone, a flak vest, a semi-automatic 9mm and a messenger’s bag?
The tendency of the general public to have such short-term memories is unfortunate. Fragments remain. Those fragments are rearranged by the daily noise. At least for those who have not given up completely and tune it all out to play with the kids, read a novel or create a mental fog with some beer. To take a lot in and retain it requires developing some coping strategy, maybe even a bit of callous on the mind. As to what brings this up, a reminder of some recent history, September 26, 2008, Talks Implode During a Day of Chaos; Fate of Bailout Plan Remains Unresolved
“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.
[ ]…The day seemed to hold promise as it began. On Wednesday night, Mr. Bush had delivered a prime-time televised address to the nation, warning that ”our country could experience a long and painful recession” if lawmakers did not act quickly to pass a huge Wall Street bailout plan.
Put away the lab coats, the flasks, the test tubes, the genetic testing, the statistical analysis, conservatives have solved several mysteries, CNN, The Conservative News Network, Gives Republican Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones A Platform. “The government is using products like juice boxes to “encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children.”
The Second Law of Thermodynamics has been abused by so-called intelligent design advocates since about the 1970s. One of the biggest proponents of this abuse is a mathematician named Granville Sewell. he seems to argue in good faith. By that we mean that rather than being a malicious liar, he honestly believes his utterly bizarre interpretation of the 2nd law. There is some built-in irony here in that he is using physical laws of science, empirical conditions under which things like coming back from the dead in a tangible biological form is not possible. It is well within the conditions of the 2nd law to have mutations and genetic variety to give rise to life. The 2nd law does say the universe is tending toward entropy. Over the years in common parlance entropy has been explained as disorder. That can be true in some situations or systems like your bedroom. Which demands in turn that you expend energy to return the bedroom to some semblance of order. Or an isolated system is defined as one without any outside energy input. Because the universe is an isolated system, the total disorder of the universe is always increasing. The earth this not an isolated system, just as your bedroom is not. As you put energy into cleaning and straightening, the sun puts energy into the earth’s system. As the order on earth stays about the same or increases – though the input of energy, the sum of the order of the universe is still decreasing, which means the 2nd law is not violated. Those of the Sewell school of beliefs also misunderstand the 2nd law in that it is more a set of probabilities that can be defined by some complex math – which seems to hold up pretty well considering the same math put satellites into orbit and a human on the moon. The state into which energy can be distributed in more ways in a certain state, that state is more probable. An isolated system – often referred to, for better and frequently worse, a closed system, or one that cannot exchange energy or matter with its surroundings is thermodynamically equivalent to a miniature universe. During a reaction, an input of energy, its entropy will increase. But the entropy of an open system – one that can exchange energy with its surroundings, can increase, decrease, or stay constant. Cells are a closed system. The organelles within a cell are a closed system. Those organelles, with the help of the input of energy from ATP, which can be traced back to energy from the sun, produce reactions that decrease entropy. If this were not true animals could not produce offspring, asexually or sexually. Those offspring, if produced, could not grow.
The unknown is an abstraction; the known, a desert; but what is half-known, half-seen, is the perfect breeding ground for desire and hallucination – Juan José Saer
The original title for this photograph was Indians fishing at the “Soo”. By that they meant American Indians. Taken around 1901 by an unknown photographer. It is photomechanical photochrom print. The Soo is a set of parallel locks which enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes.